Chapter 1: Introduction to Research Methods

Learning Objectives

At the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Define the term “research methods”.
  • List the nine steps in undertaking a research project.
  • Differentiate between applied and basic research.
  • Explain where research ideas come from.
  • Define ontology and epistemology and explain the difference between the two.
  • Identify and describe five key research paradigms in social sciences.
  • Differentiate between inductive and deductive approaches to research.


Welcome to Introduction to Research Methods. In this textbook, you will learn why research is done and, more importantly, about the methods researchers use to conduct research. Research comes in many forms and, although you may feel that it has no relevance to you and/ or that you know nothing about it, you are exposed to research multiple times a day. You also undertake research yourself, perhaps without even realizing it. This course will help you to understand the research you are exposed to on a daily basis, and how to be more critical of the research you read and use in your own life and career.


This text is intended as an introduction. A plethora of resources exists related to more detailed aspects of conducting research; it is not our intention to replace any of these more comprehensive resources. Feedback helps to improve this open-source textbook, and is appreciated in the development of the resource.


Share This Book